Planning a Uganda safari Holiday from Spain
Planning a Uganda safari from Spain is something that should not bother you after reading our blog post on how to research what Uganda offers in terms of activities, sites, and what to see while on vacation plus all Covid 19 Protocols. Are you in Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Valencia, Bilbao, Zaragoza, Alicante, Palma, Cadiz, and Salamanca and are having a hard time arranging a safari to Uganda? If this is so, kindly take time to read every bit of this write-up and you will get all answers pertaining to all frequently asked questions about planning a Uganda safari from Spain online at the comfort of your sitting room. Please note that Uganda is open for tourism even during COVID-19 pandemic and all activities are done under strict SOPS at all entry points, in the vehicle and Lodges.
Things to consider when planning a Uganda safari from Spain
When planning a Uganda safari holiday to Uganda from Spain, please consider the below ideas and guidelines on how to choose a tour operator, how to find flights from Spain to Uganda, visa, things to do, and all Covid 19 updates.
- Choosing the right tour operator
- Flights from Spain to Uganda
- Visa application and approval
- Things to see and do in Uganda
- Security and safety in Uganda
- COVID-19 Status
Choosing the right tour operator to do the job
Being in Europe and wishing to visit Africa may require some help from the experts. There are so many tour operators offering Uganda safaris online that can be contacted to handle all your booking requirements. The question is, how do you get the right company amidst so many companies online? You can only achieve this by doing thorough research online. Below is how you can finally zero down to a trusted Tour operator to assist you in booking your tour.
Local Tour Operator Association or Licensing body
A reliable company must belong to a local tour operator association and with Uganda, make sure that the company in question is a member of AUTO (The Association of Uganda Tour Operators). This is because if anything happens, you can report to the association who will take action. The company to handle your trip should be licensed to conduct tourism services in Uganda. The licensing body in Uganda is UTB (Uganda Tourism Board), if the company is not licensed, please avoid dealing with it. If it so happens that the company in question does not belong to the above but you feel you want to use their service, please contact Uganda Wildlife Authority to see if it is known.
Online reviews are of great importance in selecting a company to handle your Uganda safari from Spain. Check to see if the said company has reviews on trip advisor and safari bookings. Find out how many reviews are good and bad, check how recently this company has been reviewed, feel free to contact any of the persons who left a review to find out how it was booking with such a company. We highly recommend this because reviews on trip and advisor can not be manipulated.
About us page
Take time to visit the ABOUT US page. This will give you a background of the company, vision, and mission. You may also find pictures of staff and the one that responded to your email, which is something good. Avoid companies that provide a shallow description or who don’t have ABOUT US page. There are so many conmen online and will only outline tours but no address and About us page.
Timely response with helpful information
We consider time an important aspect in the tour and travel business. If you send an inquiry, try to see who responds fast with reliable information to assist you to book your Uganda safari. Is the information provided useful? Has the company provided all information you need? Have they explained the activities, what is included and not included? If you send an email seeking clarification, do they respond in time and with correct information? Once you are satisfied with this, you may look at the price they are charging you and then compare with us. For you to get a competitive quote, you need to contact about 6 companies online and then compare the price and service provided.
Why consider Encounter Africa Safaris
Encounter Africa safaris was born in 2003 to provide professional tour services for the East African region. We have over time assembled a team of well-motivated and professional staff in the office and field to make your dream come true. We are licensed by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) and members of The Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO). Encounter Africa safaris offer affordable and value-for-money tour packages and we are highly recommended on trip advisor and Safari bookings. We have been in operation for quite some time and we provide not only tours but experiences that provide everlasting memories. Contact us when planning Uganda safari trips from Spain and the larger Europe.
Contacting Spanish Tour Operators
It is also important to contact Spanish Tour operators offering Uganda safaris since these are in your home area and easy to contact. You are also assured that you have contacted someone you know and trust. Most Spanish companies that don’t have offices in Uganda hire services of Ugandan local tour operators to handle their clients. Of course, you expect a Ugandan Local tour operator to add a small margin on the price. Encounter Africa safaris is a Destination Management Outfit dealing with both direct clients and Agents. Are you a Tour Operator in Spain looking for a ground handler in Uganda? Encounter Africa safaris will provide all relevant information and top-notch service throughout.
International connecting flights from Spain to Uganda
Planning to fly from Spain to Uganda is something you must consider when planning any Uganda safari. There are so many international and regional Airlines that offer affordable fares. Some of the regional Airlines include; Uganda Airlines, Kenya Airways, Rwanda Air, while international ones with connections include KLM, SN Brussels, Fly Emirates, Qatar Air, British Airways, Etihad, Ethiopian Airways and so many more. Most tour companies in Uganda don’t book international flights on behalf of their clients, so we encourage you to do it on your own. Encounter Africa safaris is always available to provide all advice needed to enable you to get the right flight connections from Spain to Uganda.
Applying for Uganda Visa
You need a valid tourist visa to enable you to enter Uganda. This is applied and paid for online. Uganda used to accept visas on arrival but because of coronavirus and the need to reduce paperwork, they must do all visa applications and payments online. Uganda tourist visa costs $50 dollars and is normally valid for not over three months. If you intend to visit Kenya and Rwanda, you may opt for the East Africa Tourist visa, which costs $100 and allows you to visit Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda. Sometimes, you may encounter some issues why applying for your visa online. This should not worry you at all. Just send us an email or call us and we will contact Immigrations here in Uganda and it will settle all. Please note that Encounter Africa safaris only assists clients to process their visas online only.
Security and Safety in Uganda
Before visiting any country, one must be assured of the safety and security of that given country. For over 40 years now, Uganda has enjoyed relative peace and security and thus becoming one of the most preferred and affordable tourist destinations in East Africa. To make sure that your stay is safe, the Government of Uganda has Tourism police in charge of all tourism security needs. Besides, no internal or external wars and political turmoil, so it is safe to visit Uganda any time of the year.
Covid 19 Status and travel restrictions
Corona Virus has affected the tourism sector and Uganda is not an exception. Uganda experienced both the first and second wave of the deadly coronavirus with some lockdown on most sectors of the economy, movements from one distance to another but tourism and all international travel remain open. They enforced strict Standard Operating Procedures on all entry points such as land borders, Entebbe International Airport. While travel from one district to another was prohibited, tourism vehicles with licenses may move with a few tourists. We have vaccinated all guides to make sure that the spread of this virus is controlled. This is information is dated and written on 26th July 2021 and keeps on changing. Please contact Encounter Africa safaris for the most updated information on the corona Virus.
Activities to do on a Uganda safari from Spain
Uganda is one of the smallest countries located in East Africa and lies astride the equator. Uganda was nicknamed “The Pearl of Africa” by the former prime minister of England Churchill something that has since put Uganda on the map of Africa as one of the leading but undiscovered safari destinations. If you a looking for a country with so much to see yet unspoiled, Uganda should come number one in the choice safari destination.
Summary of what to see and do in Uganda
- Gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Parks
- Gorilla habituation experience
- Chimpanzee trekking in Kibale and Budongo
- Golden monkey trekking in Mgahinga National Park
- Sport fishing on the Nile and Lake Victoria
- Mountain hiking
- Cultural and community experiences
- Visiting source of the Nile
Mountain gorilla trekking in Bwindi and Mgahinga National Park
Any safari to Africa is incomplete without adding a visit to the rare mountain gorillas. There are only three countries where one can enjoy a natural encounter with mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. Uganda is one of the safest and affordable gorilla trekking Nation you can think of if planning a Uganda safari from Spain. Uganda is gifted with two national parks that have half the number of mountain gorillas remaining in the whole world. What better country to visit gorillas while in Africa? With 19 habituated mountain gorillas, Uganda ranks number one when it comes to families available for gorilla trekking. Each gorilla family is visited by a maximum of 8 people, meaning that 160 gorilla permits are available daily for the gorilla trekking experience.
A brief about Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park is located in southwestern Uganda in the districts of Rubanda, Kisoro, and Kanungu. This vast tropical rainforest and home to almost half of the remaining mountain gorillas has four regions where mountain gorilla trekking is done. Each of the four regions has resident habituated gorilla groups which can be booked and trekked. These regions include Buhoma in the north, Ruhija in the East, Nkuringo, and Rushaga in the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
Bwindi impenetrable National Park can be accessed by road from Entebbe International Airport or Kampala the Capital city of Uganda. It takes 9-10 hours road transfer from Entebbe to any of the four mentioned regions of Impenetrable National Park. Most of the roads are fairly good except for the section closer to the park. You need a 4×4 Safari vehicle for this expedition. If you don’t fancy road trips, there is an option of using air transport from Entebbe International Airport to Kihihi or Kisoro airstrip for the northern and southern part of Bwindi respectively. Depending on your budget, you can opt for charter or scheduled flights to and from Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Normal scheduled flights take less than two hours and you will be transferred by road from the respective airstrip to your overnight Lodge in Buhoma, Ruhija, Rushaga, or Nkuring regions of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. For more information about accessing Bwindi from Entebbe/Kampala, please contact us.
About Mgahinga National Park
Mgahinga National Park is one of the smallest National Park in Uganda. It is home to one habituated gorilla family called Nyakagezi. Mgahinga National Park is part of the wide Virunga ranges and shares borders with Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda) and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Only 8 permits are available daily for gorilla trekking because of having one gorilla family which used to migrate to and from Volcanoes National Park.
Mgahinga National Park can be accessed by road or air depending on your budget. Encounter Africa safaris will organize for you transport to and from Entebbe or Kampala to the park by road or air. Those flying to Mgahinga National Park must use Kisoro Airstrip since it is located in Kisoro town closer to the park. For more information about Fly -in gorilla safaris to Mgahinga, please contact us.
How to trek Mgahinga and Bwindi gorillas
To include gorilla trekking on a Uganda safari from Spain, you need a valid gorilla permit for Bwindi impenetrable National Park or Mgahinga. To book a gorilla permit through Encounter Africa safaris, you need to tell us the date, month, and year from where we will contact the Uganda Wildlife Authority about the available number of permits on the particular date as requested by you. If we find that UWA has enough permits on that particular day, we will notify you and advise on how to make payment. After receiving your payment, we will pay and secure your permits to guarantee you a place for seeing gorillas in Bwindi or Mgahinga National Park. Please note that gorilla permits are given out on first come first serve with a cash payment at Uganda Wildlife Authority headquarters. We can only guarantee your permit after purchasing and collecting it from UWA offices.
Bwindi and Mgahinga gorilla permit cost $700 for foreign non-residents, $600 for Foreign residents with work permits, and Shs250,000 for East African citizens. This includes one hour with mountain gorillas in Bwindi or Mgahinga, park entry fees, and services of an armed ranger guide. You will be rewarded with a certificate of recognition after your gorilla trek.
Gorilla habituation experience in Rushaga and Nkuringo
Gorilla habituation experience gives you four hours with mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable National Park. Nowhere in the world will you find this experience apart from Uganda. Instead of multiple gorilla treks to attain four hours, we recommend that if you have less time and you prefer spending more hours with mountain gorillas; you need to book a gorilla habituation experience permit at $1500per person. For more information about our gorilla habituation experience safaris from Spain, please click here.
Chimpanzee trekking in Uganda
Visiting chimpanzees in the wild forests of Uganda is the next best thing to do after gorilla trekking. Kibale National Park is the best place to trek habituated chimpanzees and spot other rare 12 species of primates in Africa. With 3 habituated communities of chimpanzees of over 150 each, one is free to book morning or afternoon chimpanzee trekking in Kanyanchu. To trek chimps in Kibale, one needs a valid chimpanzee permit which can be booked by Encounter Africa safaris from Uganda Wildlife Authority on your behalf. Each chimpanzee permit is $200 per person and gives you one hour with a party of chimps, park entry fees, and services of an armed UWA ranger guide who will be with you on the trek. Contact Encounter Africa safaris for more information on how to book your chimpanzee permit.
Chimpanzee habituation experience is also available in Kibale National Park. This is a half-day excursion where you spend more time with chimpanzees in Kibale. A chimpanzee habituation experience permit costs $250 per person and allows you to visit wild semi-habituated chimpanzees in Kanyanchu region of Kibale National Park.
Other places to enjoy a chimpanzee trekking experience include Budongo forest (Kaniyo Pabidi), Kyambura Gorge in Queen Elizabeth National Park as well as Karinzu forest in Bunyaruguru on our way to Queen Elizabeth National Park.
Kibale National Park is a mere 5-6 hours drive west of Kampala by road and if interested in flying, both charter and scheduled flights from Entebbe to Kasese Airstrip are available daily. From Kasese airstrip, you are transferred to Kibale National Park by road to your overnight Lodge. Encounter Africa safaris organizes both road trips and fly-in safaris to see chimpanzees in Kibale National Park any time of the year.
Golden monkey trekking and Habituation experience
Besides gorilla trekking in Mgahinga, this small park is the only place where “Gold meets Silver”. Mgahinga is the only place where you can see and include golden monkey trekking and habituation experience on your Uganda safari from Spain. A community of habituated golden monkeys is resident in the park and can be visited one hour in a half-day trek after paying $100 per person. They pay this money on the ground before trekking. For those interested in the golden monkey habituation experience, a whole day experience is available after securing your golden monkey experience permit.
Mountain hiking expeditions in Uganda
If you are a fun of climbing mountains and hills, Uganda has got you covered. Uganda has many mountains with special attachments. Spend 3-8 days on the Rwenzori mountains in the western part of Uganda. Rwenzori is the widest mountain range in East Africa and is snow-capped yet astride the equator. It is fun spending 8 days and 7 nights climbing this huge African mountain located in Uganda. Other mountains to consider include Mt Elgon in the east, Muhabura, Sabinyo, and Mgahinga in Southwestern Uganda. Encounter Africa safaris organizes mountain hiking safaris on behalf of our clients once contacted.
Savannah Wildlife viewing
Uganda has 10 National Parks each with different wild animals for game viewing. Popular spots for game drives and boat cruises include Queen Elizabeth National Park with her popular Kazinga Channel boat cruise, game drives in Mweya as well as Ishasha for the tree-climbing lions (depending on your chance of the day). Lake Mburo, Kidepo Valley National Park, and Murchison Falls National Park are the other extraordinary parks you can include in your Uganda safari planned from Spain. Each National Park has some unique species that distinguish it from the other. Depending on your interest and time, Encounter Africa safaris with tailor your Uganda safari tour to meet your time and budget. Are you interested in birds? Mammals and so much more? Uganda is one of the few unspoiled and less known tourist destinations that will surprise you when you choose to visit it.
Other attractions and things to see and do in Uganda.
It is possible to spend 30 days on a Uganda safari since there is a lot to see and do. Other things to see include the source of the Nile, boat cruises on the Nile and Lake Victoria, community and cultural visits, visiting the Batwa and other cultures, volunteer work and so much more. Encounter Africa safaris is always available to provide answers to all your travel requirements and do not hesitate to hit the contact us buttons for travel solutions.